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Matthew JM Coomber

Associate Professor


Dr. Coomber's primary areas of teaching and research focus on how biblical texts interact with the cultures and societies into which they are adopted, both past and present, with particular emphases on economics, social-justice movements, and the arts. With a focus on marginalized voices, his courses emphasize how the ancient stories of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament continue to find relevance in the lives of people whose cultures, societies, and worldviews differ greatly from those of the biblical authors.

Dr. Coomber has studied and taught in Europe, Canada, Japan, and India and has a background in Buddhist Studies and the Sanskrit language. He is an ordained Episcopal priest and works to bridge his academic and spiritual life with his human-rights concerns through work at the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice, as well as in various other endeavors.

His personal interests include playing old-time and Celtic mandolin and banjo, travel, film, spending time with his wife and son, and supporting his favorite soccer team, Sheffield Wednesday F.C.

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Education and Training


  • PhD, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England Biblical Studies
  • MDiv, Trinity College, University of Toronto
  • Graduate Study, Naropa University, Boulder, CO Buddhist Studies and Sanskrit
  • BA, Concordia College, Moorhead, MN Religion and Philosophy

Areas of Professional Interest


  • Hebrew prophecy in socio-historical context
  • Biblical economics
  • Use of Bible in social-justice movements
  • Reception history
  • Contextual Bible study
  • Post-colonial interpretation

Highlights and Published Work


Books:
Amos and Micah Through the Centuries. Blackwell Bible Commentaries. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, forthcoming.

Re-Reading the Prophets through Corporate Globalization: A Cultural-Evolutionary Approach to Understanding Economic Injustice in the Hebrew Bible. Biblical Intersections 4: Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2010.

Edited Volumes:
Economics and Empire in the Ancient Near East. Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice Series on Bible and Economics: Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Eugene: Cascade Books, forthcoming (under contract).

Economics and Empire in the Greco-Roman World. Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice Series on Bible and Economics: Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Eugene: Cascade Books, forthcoming (under contract).

God, Mammon, and the Hope of the Poor: The First Testament. Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice Series on Bible and Economics: Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Eugene: Cascade Books, forthcoming (under contract).

God, Mammon, and the Hope of the Poor: The Second Testament. Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice Series on Bible and Economics: Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Eugene: Cascade Books, forthcoming (under contract).

Bible in the age of Capital: Challenges We Face. Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice Series on Bible and Economics: Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Eugene: Cascade Books, forthcoming (under contract).

Bible in the age of Capital: What is Being Done. Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice Series on Bible and Economics: Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Eugene: Cascade Books, forthcoming (under contract).

The Apocrypha: Fortress Commentary on the Bible Study Edition. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page, Jr., and Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2016.

The Historical Writings: Fortress Commentary on the Bible Study Edition. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page, Jr., and Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2016.

The Pentateuch: Fortress Commentary on the Bible Study Edition. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page, Jr., and Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2016.

The Prophets: Fortress Commentary on the Bible Study Edition. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page, Jr., and Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2016.

Wisdom, Worship, and Poetry: Fortress Commentary on the Bible Study Edition. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page, Jr., and Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2016.

See more published works


More About Dr. Coomber

Courses Taught

THEO 130 - Introduction to the Old Testament
THEO 335 - Love, Land, and Law: Torah and the Ongoing Human Experience
THEO 336 - Bible and the Arts
THEO 337 - Bible and Social Justice
HON 101 - World of Ideas: War and Peace
UMAIE T4465 - Genocide, Resistance, and God in Nazi Germany (Study Abroad course)

Academic Affiliations and Leadership

Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice, Director
Society of Biblical Literature, Co-Chair of Poverty in the Biblical World Section
Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies, External Member
Society for Old Testament Study
Catholic Biblical Association of America 

Leadership

St. Ambrose Conference on Bible and Justice Series, Co-Organizer and Director
Society of Biblical Literature, Co-Chair of the Poverty in the Biblical World Section
International Society of Biblical Literature, Steering committee member of the Bible and Empire Section
Middle East Institute, Advisory Board
Dean Search Committee (2015-16), College of Arts and Sciences
SAU Center for International Education, Regional Expert: United Kingdom and Japan

Other Publications

Edited Volumes:
Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page, Jr., and Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014.

Bible and Justice: Ancient Texts, Modern Challenges. Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. BibleWorld: New York: Routledge Publishing, 2011.

Political Theology 11, No. 3, 2010. Guest editor of this special edition, which is comprised of selected papers from the 2008 Conference on Bible and Justice Wealth and Poverty in the Biblical World. Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, forthcoming.

God, Mammon, and the Hope of the Poor: A Biblical Commentary. Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, forthcoming The Bible in the Age of Capital. Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, forthcoming.

Journal Articles:

"Bevor Sie den Jordan überqueren: Das Erzählen und Nacherzählen des Exodus Afroamerikanische Geschichte." Welt und Umwelt Der Bibel (forthcoming).

"Seeking Community in a Capitalist Age: A Collective Response to Poverty and Debt, from the Bible to Today." Journal of Religion and Society 16 (2018).

"Debt as Weapon: Manufacturing Poverty from Judah to Today." Diaconia: Journal for the Study of Christian Social Practice 4, No. 2 (2013): 141-58.

"Caught in the Crossfire? Economic Injustice and Prophetic Motivation in Eighth-Century Judah" Biblical Interpretation 19, No. 4-5 (2011): 396-432.

"Prophets to Profits: Ancient Judah and Corporate Globalization." Pages 212-37 in Bible and Justice: Ancient Texts, Modern Challenges. BibleWorld. Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Oakville, CT: Equinox Publishing, 2011.

Book Chapters:
"Those at Ease Have Contempt for Misfortune: Biblical Approaches to Challenging Anti-Poor Sentiment." Imagined Worlds and Constructed Differences. Edited by Jeremiah Cataldo. Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies. New York: Bloomsbury, forthcoming.

"Poverty and Social Justice: Micah" in Cambridge Companion to the Hebrew Bible and Ethics. Edited by Carly Crouch, forthcoming (under contract).

"Uncovering Economics in the Ancient World." Economics and Empire in the Ancient Near East and also in Economics and Empire in the Greco Roman World. Series 1 and 2 of Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice Series on Bible and Economics: Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Eugene: Cascade Books, forthcoming (under contract).

"The Church's Mission to Address Poverty in our Time." God, Mammon, and the Hope of the Poor: The First Testament and also in God, Mammon, and the Hope of the Poor: The Second Testament. Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice Series on Bible and Economics: Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Eugene: Cascade Books, forthcoming (under contract).

"Responding to Neoliberalism with Biblical Texts." Bible in the age of Capital: Challenges We Face and also in Bible in the age of Capital: What is Being Done. Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice Series on Bible and Economics: Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Eugene: Cascade Books, forthcoming (under contract).

"Debt" in Bible in the age of Capital: What is Being Done. Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice Series on Bible and Economics: Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Eugene: Cascade Books, forthcoming (under contract).

"Occupying the Temple in Ancient Judah: Resisting Debt Abuses, from Jerusalem to Wall Street," in Reading the Bible in an Age of Crisis: Political Exegesis for a New Day. Edited by Bruce Worthington and Jonathan Bernier. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015.

"Micah's Date." Page li, in Micah. Authored by Julia O'Brien. Wisdom Commentary Series. Chicago: Liturgical Press, 2015. "Women and Land Seizure in Micah." Pages 25-26 in Micah. Authored by Julia O'Brien. Wisdom Commentary Series. Chicago: Liturgical Press, 2015.

"Justice and Power," Pages 89-90 in Micah. Authored by Julia O'Brien. Wisdom Commentary Series. Chicago: Liturgical Press, 2015. "Reading the Old Testament in Ancient and Contemporary Contexts." Pages 5-29 in Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page, Jr., and Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014.

"Jonah." Pages 861-69 in Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page, Jr., and Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014.

"Micah." Pages 870-84 in Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page, Jr., and Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014.

Contact


Matthew JM Coomber

Theology
Christ the King Chapel 111
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6041
CoomberMatthewJM@sau.edu

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